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The Whisperer in Darkness: Collected Stories Volume 1

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That is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die. Millenia ago, the Old Ones ruled our planet. Since that time, they have but slumbered. But when a massive sea tremor brings the ancient stone city of R'lyeh to the surface once more, the Old Ones awaken at last. The Whisperer in Darkness brings together the original Cthulhu Mythos stories of the That is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die. Millenia ago, the Old Ones ruled our planet. Since that time, they have but slumbered. But when a massive sea tremor brings the ancient stone city of R'lyeh to the surface once more, the Old Ones awaken at last. The Whisperer in Darkness brings together the original Cthulhu Mythos stories of the legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Included in this volume are several early tales, along with the classics 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'At the Mountains of Madness'. Arm yourself with a copy of Abdul Alhazred's fabled Necronomicon and prepare to face terrors beyond the wildest imaginings of all, save H.P. Lovecraft.


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That is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die. Millenia ago, the Old Ones ruled our planet. Since that time, they have but slumbered. But when a massive sea tremor brings the ancient stone city of R'lyeh to the surface once more, the Old Ones awaken at last. The Whisperer in Darkness brings together the original Cthulhu Mythos stories of the That is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die. Millenia ago, the Old Ones ruled our planet. Since that time, they have but slumbered. But when a massive sea tremor brings the ancient stone city of R'lyeh to the surface once more, the Old Ones awaken at last. The Whisperer in Darkness brings together the original Cthulhu Mythos stories of the legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Included in this volume are several early tales, along with the classics 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'At the Mountains of Madness'. Arm yourself with a copy of Abdul Alhazred's fabled Necronomicon and prepare to face terrors beyond the wildest imaginings of all, save H.P. Lovecraft.

30 review for The Whisperer in Darkness: Collected Stories Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    The Mythos parts of this one are very strong, with ancient but seldom-spoken of presence of the creepy what-are-they under the hills coming out at night and making odd noises. I liked the alien artifacts and the solitary homesteader's unwise attempts to research the mystery. The bulk of the story is epistolary and that dragged a bit. I could have used more explanation for why Akeley didn't simply leave (especially since he has the son in San Diego, safely far off). And as is often the case with The Mythos parts of this one are very strong, with ancient but seldom-spoken of presence of the creepy what-are-they under the hills coming out at night and making odd noises. I liked the alien artifacts and the solitary homesteader's unwise attempts to research the mystery. The bulk of the story is epistolary and that dragged a bit. I could have used more explanation for why Akeley didn't simply leave (especially since he has the son in San Diego, safely far off). And as is often the case with Lovecraft, the parts that would have been the most frightening or suspenseful happen off page or are narrated post-facto so we know the protagonist did not end up (view spoiler)[with his brain in a cannister (hide spoiler)] . To be fair this was slightly spoilered by me having already read Threshold, which is based on this. So I wasn't surprised by the science fiction elements. Also, I have to see I think Hawk improved on this by having the characters actually explore the underground in search of the missing people. But anyway: Weird fun. Would read more about the Outer Ones.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael || TheNeverendingTBR

    Finished the last two stories of this particular collection tonight, few very well known ones in this and a few obscure ones I'd never heard of before; all in all a nice wee collection. Now onto Volume Two, to read the ones I've not read from there. 🐙 Finished the last two stories of this particular collection tonight, few very well known ones in this and a few obscure ones I'd never heard of before; all in all a nice wee collection. Now onto Volume Two, to read the ones I've not read from there. 🐙

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I am going to write something that may ban me from the esteem of many genre readers for life. So be it, I gotta say this: Lovecraft was not a good writer. As evidence of this, I give you one of his most popular stories, "At the Mountains of Madness". The story starts off great with a narrative told in a cautious tone; the descriptions of arctic exploration; the ensuing discoveries that hint at great and awesome things - I really dug these ideas; and the subsequent violence that suggests something I am going to write something that may ban me from the esteem of many genre readers for life. So be it, I gotta say this: Lovecraft was not a good writer. As evidence of this, I give you one of his most popular stories, "At the Mountains of Madness". The story starts off great with a narrative told in a cautious tone; the descriptions of arctic exploration; the ensuing discoveries that hint at great and awesome things - I really dug these ideas; and the subsequent violence that suggests something truly wrong is going on. The story then follows two men to the Mountains of Madness, and everything is fine - creepy, well told, interesting - until they find some murals depicting the lives of the Old Ones, and they decide to decipher them - right there. And what does Lovecraft do with his story that, so far, has drawn the reader in and set the stage for something odd and scary? He infodumps about the Old Ones for many, many pages - and with that, all narrative momentum is killed, the main characters forgotten, and everything that follows is made routine. I like Lovecraft's ideas, and I will continue to read his stories; I cannot, however, understand the hype that has built up around his legacy. Maybe it was cool to like him when fewer people did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    It's strange to have someone so verbose so copiously use the phrase "terrible beyond description". Here is how I would rate the stories in this book: Dagon-3/10 The Nameless City-1/10 The Hound-2/10 The Festival-3/10 The Call of Cthulhu-4/10 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward-2/10 The Dunwich Horror-7-10 The Whisperer in Darkness-5/10 At the Mountains of Madness-8/10 I was pretty much ready to give up on this book until I got to The Dunwich Horror. That story, and the two that followed it were pretty entertai It's strange to have someone so verbose so copiously use the phrase "terrible beyond description". Here is how I would rate the stories in this book: Dagon-3/10 The Nameless City-1/10 The Hound-2/10 The Festival-3/10 The Call of Cthulhu-4/10 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward-2/10 The Dunwich Horror-7-10 The Whisperer in Darkness-5/10 At the Mountains of Madness-8/10 I was pretty much ready to give up on this book until I got to The Dunwich Horror. That story, and the two that followed it were pretty entertaining; though to be honest I'm not sure if I actually liked them, or if the preceding stories were just so boring that anything even moderately interesting seemed good by comparison.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    If you like reading Poe, then you will be fond of Lovecraft.. But in my opinion Poe is better!! Nevertheless these are good horror stories.. "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Dunwich Horror" being my favourites ones. Also if you haven't yet read Lovecraft, this is a good place to start with.. I cannot say that I loved this stories, but I liked them.. They keep me turning the pages.. a very fantastic, gloomy, peculiar, insane and paranoid nightmare awaits the bold reader daring to read and enter th If you like reading Poe, then you will be fond of Lovecraft.. But in my opinion Poe is better!! Nevertheless these are good horror stories.. "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Dunwich Horror" being my favourites ones. Also if you haven't yet read Lovecraft, this is a good place to start with.. I cannot say that I loved this stories, but I liked them.. They keep me turning the pages.. a very fantastic, gloomy, peculiar, insane and paranoid nightmare awaits the bold reader daring to read and enter this world.. You have been warned my friend.. Happy readings Dean;)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nigar Osmanlı

    Oh, to be a semi-vegetable old god living underwater in a socialist society and terrorize humanity.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Tombstone Lives!

    Read as part of the Chaos Reading Emergency Group Read for True Detective & The Yellow King. So far, this is the creepiest of all the Lovecraft stories I've read. There were genuine goosebumps involved. I wish I had the time right now to read all of the Cthulhu mythos stories.. ------------------------------------------------------ This was a great story, and certainly my favourite Lovecraft to date. What a pity the audiobook version I listened to had a narrator with such poor English language ski Read as part of the Chaos Reading Emergency Group Read for True Detective & The Yellow King. So far, this is the creepiest of all the Lovecraft stories I've read. There were genuine goosebumps involved. I wish I had the time right now to read all of the Cthulhu mythos stories.. ------------------------------------------------------ This was a great story, and certainly my favourite Lovecraft to date. What a pity the audiobook version I listened to had a narrator with such poor English language skills! I couldn't believe it - every word with three syllables or more either had an extra syllable added on, or removed. I don't think he got a single one correct. Ever come across a word you've never seen before while narrating an audiobook? No worries - you just make up an alternative word and say it with confidence. The only people who'll notice are... those of us who've ever read a book, seen a movie or heard someone speak before. *facepalm*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jᴀɴᴀ

    'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.' I took my sweet, sweet time reading this collection of short stories, mostly because I am a novice in the Lovecraftian world of death and fear, but also because the ingenuity of the author lays precisely in the slow decent to madness; in being slowly but surely absorbed in the doomsday atmosphere he so marvelously creates by using incredibly creative, never-before thought-of compound 'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.' I took my sweet, sweet time reading this collection of short stories, mostly because I am a novice in the Lovecraftian world of death and fear, but also because the ingenuity of the author lays precisely in the slow decent to madness; in being slowly but surely absorbed in the doomsday atmosphere he so marvelously creates by using incredibly creative, never-before thought-of compound adjectives. His style of writing is not for those unused to old-fashioned syntax, but having read many, many classics, I found this not troublesome. However, his over-use of adjectives may confound you a bit and you may find yourself losing track of the narrative in certain places because you are overwhelmed by words. But I guess that is a part of that slow decent into madness- you really feel like you are losing yourself in the space-time continuum. This collection contains some of his best and most famous stories, such as 'The Call of Cthlhu' and 'At the Mountains of Madness', and is a great place for a beginner who doesn't know too much about the Lovecraft Mythos, but is nevertheless ready to plunge into it and enjoy the wild ride. All in all, I really enjoyed my introduction to Lovecraft and am glad that I took time to slowly read and appreciate each of the stories included here, because it has only left me hungry for more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jethro Jessop

    I like horror, fantasy and sci-fi and thought I should give some Lovecraft a go as he keeps popping up as the daddy of it all. Unfortunately I couldn't get into this at all. He comes up with some good scenarios and many of the stories start promisingly enough but then the short ones just end with no real conclusion and the long ones drag and drag until it is a struggle just to get to the end. There is almost no dialog, very few characters and the writing style is inconsistent and maybe even a lit I like horror, fantasy and sci-fi and thought I should give some Lovecraft a go as he keeps popping up as the daddy of it all. Unfortunately I couldn't get into this at all. He comes up with some good scenarios and many of the stories start promisingly enough but then the short ones just end with no real conclusion and the long ones drag and drag until it is a struggle just to get to the end. There is almost no dialog, very few characters and the writing style is inconsistent and maybe even a little bit lazy. I found myself struggling to get to the end of some of the longer stories and not really engaging with any of them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ♥♫☻Olivia☻♫♥

    That is not dead that can eternal lie And with strange aeons even death may die Dagon - 2 stars The Nameless City - 3.5 stars The Hound - 2.5 stars The Festival - 2.5 stars The Call of Cthulhu - 4.5 stars The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - 4.5 stars The Dunwich Horror - 3.5 stars The Whisperer in Darkness - 4 stars At the Mountains of Madness - 3 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Excellent HPL novella, rooted in his Cthulu mythos, with a central sci-fi theme. I found this was written in a slightly more approachable style than his typical, remote narration style which is comprised wholly of scientific like recountings of the narrator's experiences as if taken from a letter written to an esteemed university professor. Mind you, I said slightly. Excellent HPL novella, rooted in his Cthulu mythos, with a central sci-fi theme. I found this was written in a slightly more approachable style than his typical, remote narration style which is comprised wholly of scientific like recountings of the narrator's experiences as if taken from a letter written to an esteemed university professor. Mind you, I said slightly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Agnes de Wonderland

    It took me quite some time to finish this book. One of the reasons for that, I believe, is because this collection was not originally meant to be read as a novel, however, having multiple stories from Cthulhu Mythos put together, it is exactly what we get - characters from short stories and novellas keep re-emerging as shadows, and everything is bound together by The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred (Lovecraft's play pretend game name from his childhood) and his demonic Necronomicon. The list of stories fr It took me quite some time to finish this book. One of the reasons for that, I believe, is because this collection was not originally meant to be read as a novel, however, having multiple stories from Cthulhu Mythos put together, it is exactly what we get - characters from short stories and novellas keep re-emerging as shadows, and everything is bound together by The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred (Lovecraft's play pretend game name from his childhood) and his demonic Necronomicon. The list of stories from the collection can be found in the previous comments, however, let me put them here again: Dagon The Nameless City The Hound The Festival The Call of Cthulhu The Case of Charles Dexter Ward The Dunwich Horror The Whisperer in Darkness At the Mountains of Madness Now this is where I formed my more or less definite opinion that the masterpieces of H.P. Lovecraft are actually his short stories, which are the first 5 entries in this collection. Why? Because up until The Case of Charles Dexter Ward I was utterly blown away by the sheer horror of atmosphere and surroundings that HPL created, with abrupt and terrifying endings that each of them had and made me scared of staying home alone at night, almost hearing the wet footsteps of the unknown entity that I had just read about. It was not easy, but it was absolutely worth it. Now, when it comes to longer stories and novellas, I think this is where it got a bit too much. As amazing the descriptions of environments are (I realize they are crucial because everything about Lovecraft is more about the impression than the plot, except for the ending twist), 10 pages+ only about the looks of the tunnels in At the Mountains of Madness are too heavy. It is true that HPL was writing in the style of 19th century, himself being from the 20th, and the long Romantic descriptions are an inevitability in the genre - I guess it is just not my cup of tea. Another reason why I prefer HPL's short stories to novellas is that any writer can incorporate some horror or awe in 20 pages or more - try doing that in 5. I am now 99% sure that without the Star Spawn of Cthulhu, we would not have Xenomorph from Alien, Demogorgon from Stranger Things, and who knows what else. The whole H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic lore is a brilliant, dark trip of shivers and outworldish imagery that formed science fiction genre as we know it. And pardon me all the adjectives - I know HPL would.

  13. 5 out of 5

    [Name Redacted]

    A wonderful and grotesque blending of science-fiction and horror, and one of my favorite Lovecraft stories.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christian Savin

    Dagon - 3.5/5 The Nameless City - 4/5 The Hound - 3/5 The Festival - 3/5 The Call of Cthulhu - 4/5 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - 4/5 The Dunwich Horror - 3/5 The Whisperer in Darkness - 4/5 At the Mountains of Madness - 3/5 Lovecraft's stories contain rather simple but well-written narratives heavily relying on their distinctive atmosphere. Separated, they may not be the greatest works, but together, one cannot ignore their greatest strength: the multiverse concocted by Lovecraft. Dagon - 3.5/5 The Nameless City - 4/5 The Hound - 3/5 The Festival - 3/5 The Call of Cthulhu - 4/5 The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - 4/5 The Dunwich Horror - 3/5 The Whisperer in Darkness - 4/5 At the Mountains of Madness - 3/5 Lovecraft's stories contain rather simple but well-written narratives heavily relying on their distinctive atmosphere. Separated, they may not be the greatest works, but together, one cannot ignore their greatest strength: the multiverse concocted by Lovecraft.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin Halliwell Fraser Bower

    Dark and with a gothic touch. Kind of hard reading it in english haha

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura-Diana

    Dagon *** (3/5) The Nameless City *** (3/5) The Hound ** (2/5) The Festival *** (3/5) The Call of Cthulhu *** (3/5) The Case of Charles Dexter Ward *** (3/5) The Dunwich Horror ** (2/5) The Whisperer in Darkness ** (2/5) At the Mountains of Madness *** (3/5)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brecht Denijs

    My first taste of the great Horror master of the early twentieth century. Lovecraft is an inescapable name in literature. Even someone who has never read any of his work has heard the name Ctulhu mentioned at some point in time. Half the tabletop games seem to be getting a Ctulhu edition these days and then I'm not even mentioning the games made about the Ctulhu mythos, one of which I own myself which is quite good. This collection of short stories serves as a very good intro I think and it woul My first taste of the great Horror master of the early twentieth century. Lovecraft is an inescapable name in literature. Even someone who has never read any of his work has heard the name Ctulhu mentioned at some point in time. Half the tabletop games seem to be getting a Ctulhu edition these days and then I'm not even mentioning the games made about the Ctulhu mythos, one of which I own myself which is quite good. This collection of short stories serves as a very good intro I think and it would probably be easier to just go over them one by one, so here goes: 1) Dagon First story, shortest in the collection. Considered by some to be the first story in the Ctulhu Mythos, though Lovecraft never made any official list. It is only a couple pages long but is wonderfully creepy and serves as a great intro. 2) The Nameless City Atmospheric but in the end one of the lesser ones in my opinion. Didn't really manage to scare me in the end, it was all a bit too vague. 3) The Hound Very macabre and haunting, though more a traditional horror story than most of the other ones in the bundle. I liked this one a lot. Very creepy. 4) The Festival My least favourite entry in the series. I found it somewhat boring and not quite so scary. You could easily skip this one. 5) The Call of Ctulhu I'm afraid this one suffered from overhyping for me. It really was good, but after hearing so much about it, I was actually expecting a bit more. Still the descriptions of the Cult are really bonechilling. 6) The Case of Charles Dexter Ward The longest story in the book and I think the longest one Lovecraft ever wrote. Here both his talent and flaws come to the foreground. The story and plot are great and very creepy, but it is stretched a bit. A smart and learned man, HPL sadly is no stranger to some infodumping, which really slows things down and you don't want that in a scary story. Also he prefers to work with suggestions and hints rather than actually describing the events in question which left me a little wanting at times and a little unsatisfied in the end. Still, a great story that show's the author's obvious talent! 7) The Dunwich Horror For sure one of my favourites, this is where his more suggestive approach really comes into its full effect and it culminates in a great and exciting ending. One of the best stories in the book, though not necessarily that scary. Very creepy though. 8) The Whisperer in Darkness This is the one the bundle is named after and very rightly so, without a doubt my favourite story of the collection. A tiny bit slow at times but other than that it has everything. It is suspensefull, with a great build up and a thrilling and scary ending. Full marks! 9) At the Mountains of Madness Final story of the book and I feel a little mixed about this one. The essential plot and idea of it are great and the ending parts are scary and intense and Lovecraft at his best. Unfortunately this one suffers heavily from over description and info dumping and it sadly really slows down the plot. Took me a while to get through this one. Still a great one In conclusion, I really liked it, I can see why he is so revered but sometimes he's a bit slow for my taste, especially for a horror. I shall explore him further, though I shan't be making it an immediate priority. :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Terrifying, Horrifying, Mysterious and Lovecraftian. Just a few words to describe Lovecraft's tale, both his short and slightly longer ones. The Whisperer in Darkness is the first of four volumes of books, in which holds a mixture of Lovecraft's stories. Volume one holds the likes of 'The call of the Cthulha', 'The Dunwhich horror', and 'The case of Charles Dexter Ward.' Howard Phillips Lovecraft is legendary for his horror writings. His name is one often spoke beside those of Poe, Hitchcock and Terrifying, Horrifying, Mysterious and Lovecraftian. Just a few words to describe Lovecraft's tale, both his short and slightly longer ones. The Whisperer in Darkness is the first of four volumes of books, in which holds a mixture of Lovecraft's stories. Volume one holds the likes of 'The call of the Cthulha', 'The Dunwhich horror', and 'The case of Charles Dexter Ward.' Howard Phillips Lovecraft is legendary for his horror writings. His name is one often spoke beside those of Poe, Hitchcock and Dunsany. There is something about the way that Lovecraft wrote that drawers his readers in, the mystery of the 'old ones' that he writes abouts, and of course, the terrifying Cthulha. The collection of short stories is just a few tales that showcase H.P.Lovecraft's talents. Although his fame came mainly after his death in 1937, Lovecraft's writings show us an age of horror nd the likes in the early 20th century. But the question is, if How Lovecraft had lived longer than his 46 years, just how much would've he changed/inspired the way that we know horror is today? Not to mention, the way he might of given us even more stories and other things. If anything, H.P.Lovecraft is a name which will stay up there with the likes of Poe and Hitchcock and many others of horror greatness.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zoelikespasta

    Lovecraft has put a lot of time into developing a cohesive and creative mythos, but the short stories in this volume got old quickly. I know that when Lovecraft says that things are too horrible to conceive or describe, the idea is that the reader's horrified imagination will fill in the blanks, but he uses the trope so much that it makes him look lazy. Also, even though his work is significant and influential, much of his stories include what have since become extremely tired cliches, so I foun Lovecraft has put a lot of time into developing a cohesive and creative mythos, but the short stories in this volume got old quickly. I know that when Lovecraft says that things are too horrible to conceive or describe, the idea is that the reader's horrified imagination will fill in the blanks, but he uses the trope so much that it makes him look lazy. Also, even though his work is significant and influential, much of his stories include what have since become extremely tired cliches, so I found the book unengaging as a modern reader. After the first few stories, they all start to feel the same. Additionally, Lovecraft is a writer of his time, and that means the stories can be unpleasant to read because many of them are extremely racist. I'm not discounting his contributions to literature because of his personal views, especially in the context of when the stories were written, but the constant, unsavory comments are very off-putting. Every time I get into a story and start to enjoy it, something pulls me back out of it very quickly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    pinknantucket

    This is a book of collected short stories - Lovecraft's "tales of mystery and the supernatural", and although I quite liked the three that I read, I didn't really feel the need to read any more of them, if you know what I mean. A bit samey? Might read one or two every so often when I feel like a dose of hellish black mires, troubled and dream-infested sleep, the distant baying of gigantic hounds and ruined and nameless cities. (PS If trying to pretend have read Lovecraft at parties, many of his This is a book of collected short stories - Lovecraft's "tales of mystery and the supernatural", and although I quite liked the three that I read, I didn't really feel the need to read any more of them, if you know what I mean. A bit samey? Might read one or two every so often when I feel like a dose of hellish black mires, troubled and dream-infested sleep, the distant baying of gigantic hounds and ruined and nameless cities. (PS If trying to pretend have read Lovecraft at parties, many of his stories feature the crazed Abdul Alhazred's ancient and forbidden text, the "Necronomicon", and the terrifying giant being "Cthulhu" - a "thing that cannot be described" but nevertheless has "flabby claws").

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lobna

    I tried so hard to read this book but I m sorry to all Lovecraft's fans but that was so boring I wanted to kill myself! I finished the short stories and that was tolerable but the long ones ... OMG too much details that I lost interest in the middle and everything is horrifying and shocking( it's the same plot all over again ) . I read books fast for a book to take more than 4 months ..?? I am sorry life is too short to waste it on this book. I really need something interesting to read. so this it. I tried so hard to read this book but I m sorry to all Lovecraft's fans but that was so boring I wanted to kill myself! I finished the short stories and that was tolerable but the long ones ... OMG too much details that I lost interest in the middle and everything is horrifying and shocking( it's the same plot all over again ) . I read books fast for a book to take more than 4 months ..?? I am sorry life is too short to waste it on this book. I really need something interesting to read. so this it... Goodbye Awful book !

  22. 4 out of 5

    James Schmidt

    I for some reason have never read any Lovecraft, I don't know why but I am very glad I started. I absolutely loved these stories, I don't know how I got though life without Mr. Lovecraft. I know am looking for a complete volume of his work. I for some reason have never read any Lovecraft, I don't know why but I am very glad I started. I absolutely loved these stories, I don't know how I got though life without Mr. Lovecraft. I know am looking for a complete volume of his work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katee

    The best part about this collection is its efforts to create continuity between stories -- events and people from the first few entries are referenced in later ones, and it creates a nice beginner's sense of the universe that Lovecraft created. The best part about this collection is its efforts to create continuity between stories -- events and people from the first few entries are referenced in later ones, and it creates a nice beginner's sense of the universe that Lovecraft created.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jorrit Dorman

    The first few stories had a hard time dragging me in. I thought the writing was slow and a bit pretentious. The later longer stories started to really grab me. Since finishing this book I started looking up more information about the Lovecraft universe, and it is genuinely interesting and horrific.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tijana

    Nice.

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.D. Stone

    Is this a good collection of Lovecraft? I hardly know as these are the only ones I've ever read, but they each bear a distinct affect while remaining unique. To my surprise, Cthulhu isn't even the most interesting one. Is it scary? This is subjective, though it is quite difficult to scare a reader. Film, or even podcast is a better medium for horror, as it takes control away from the audience, whereas a reader has full command over pace, and can always tap out whenever they like. Still, much of it Is this a good collection of Lovecraft? I hardly know as these are the only ones I've ever read, but they each bear a distinct affect while remaining unique. To my surprise, Cthulhu isn't even the most interesting one. Is it scary? This is subjective, though it is quite difficult to scare a reader. Film, or even podcast is a better medium for horror, as it takes control away from the audience, whereas a reader has full command over pace, and can always tap out whenever they like. Still, much of it is at least engrossing and deliciously intense, if one is willing to enter the fantasy. Is it good, though? Let's just say it's not for everyone. Maybe the horror is obscured by the extremely wordy style, which is a bit of an obstacle in all honesty. Here follows an excerpt, with very minor spoilers. We had replaced the tarpaulin over poor Gedney and were standing in a kind of mute bewilderment when the sounds finally reached our consciousness- the first sounds we had heard since descending out of the open where the mountain wind whined faintly from its unearthly heights. Well-known and mundane though they were, their presence in this remote world of death was more unexpected and unnerving than any grotesque or fabulous tones could possibly have been- since they gave fresh upsetting to all our notions of cosmic harmony. Had it been some trace of that bizarre musical piping over a wide range which Lake's dissection report had led us to expect in those others- and which, indeed, our overwrought fancies had been reading into every wind howl as we had heard since coming on the camp horror- it would have had a kind of hellish congruity with the aeon-dead region around us. A voice from other epochs belongs in a graveyard of other epochs. As it was, however, the noise shattered all our profoundly seated adjustments- all our tacit acceptance of the inner Antarctic as a waste utterly and irrevocably void of every other vestige of normal life. What we heard was not the fabulous note of any buried blasphemy of elder earth of whose supernal toughness an age-denied polar sun had evoked a monstrous response. Instead, it was a thing so mockingly normal and so unerringly familiarised by our sea days off Victoria Land and our camp days at McMurdo Sound that we shuddered to think of it here, where such things ought not to be. To be brief- it was simply the raucous squawking of a penguin (pg. 353). Much as I appreciate word pairings such as "hellish congruity," the reading experience has a supernal toughness of its own. So we are left with the final question some of us fear as we have begun to gaze upon all literature with the eyes of the woke, judging all according to our own standards and ask, is it racist? Unfortunately yes, it is. Some of the terms used are quite insensitive, and reveal an attitude particularly foul against individuals of mixed heritage. However, the forward addresses this aspect as well, with an intelligent observation on what we can learn from the stubborn prejudice of the era in Lovcraftian context. I recommend this book for those, like me, who want to know about these things mankind was not meant to discover. It's worth the read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The Whisperer in the Darkness is the first Lovecraft I’ve read, a collection of short stories all connecting the mythos of Cthulhu and the cosmic horror of Lovecrafts writings. All of the stories have connecting features, and all heavily rely on the mention of the cosmic beings that permeate the world, connecting to the return of Cthulhu. It took me a while to get in to Lovecrafts writing. A little bit old fashioned, he’s also fairly repetitive. Each short story seemed to have one word that he u The Whisperer in the Darkness is the first Lovecraft I’ve read, a collection of short stories all connecting the mythos of Cthulhu and the cosmic horror of Lovecrafts writings. All of the stories have connecting features, and all heavily rely on the mention of the cosmic beings that permeate the world, connecting to the return of Cthulhu. It took me a while to get in to Lovecrafts writing. A little bit old fashioned, he’s also fairly repetitive. Each short story seemed to have one word that he used quite a lot, and it became a bit draining to continuously find things described in exactly the same way. Despite this, he’s a masterful story teller, and I’m glad I chose this as the first collection to read so that the stories worked together as if one continuous story rather than just a bunch of short stories. I definitely had some favourites within the collection though. I really enjoyed The Music of Erich Zann, which I found to be one of the eeriest stories of the bunch. The Lurking Fear, and The Outsider were my other two favourites, both really showing how atmospheric of a writer Lovecraft is. I struggled reading The Shadow out of Time though, which was by far my least favourite out of the collection. Most of these do deal with cosmic horrors, yet Shadow out of Time dragged out and felt so slow despite being one of the stories that focuses most heavily on these horrific beings. I will continue reading Lovecraft, as I was intrigued enough to want to see more of his traditional horror stories, but I do think I’ll read them individually rather than back to back again. His stories, at least in this collection, do start to blur together, which makes them difficult to stand on their own, and makes them lack in some ways. Still, I’m glad I’ve finally experienced some Lovecraft, and enjoyed it enough to look for more!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kit

    Reading Lovecraft reminded me of forcing myself to swallow the short stories of Poe, only to find myself choking on the bone and spitting everything out. Poe's collection of short stories to this day is one of the few books that I couldn't finish. It's no surprises even before I knew it, to find that Lovecraft was heavily influenced by Poe. The style is long-winded, pompous with detail - pages and pages of writing can describe an event happening in the space of five minutes. At times, reading Lo Reading Lovecraft reminded me of forcing myself to swallow the short stories of Poe, only to find myself choking on the bone and spitting everything out. Poe's collection of short stories to this day is one of the few books that I couldn't finish. It's no surprises even before I knew it, to find that Lovecraft was heavily influenced by Poe. The style is long-winded, pompous with detail - pages and pages of writing can describe an event happening in the space of five minutes. At times, reading Lovecraft is a struggle with slumber, right before bed. It's best to read Lovecraft when you're fresh. I find the stories following a similar pattern. His descriptions of these unnatural creations of his minds are repetitive: "beyond words" or "beyond imagination". Suffice to say his style annoyed the crap out of me. But I cannot deny that his stories are interesting. The creatures borne out of his mind is an exercise for your imagination, and at his best, Lovecraft manage to make your skin crawl some. I appreciate the parallels in different stories, almost as if these stories are interconnected by some out of this world experience- Chtulu fhtagn. The payoff of these stories almost made most of Lovecraft's cumbersome writing worthwhile. Still, he is a reflection of his times (and then some). His writing isn't something that I can respect. Lovecraft was a bigot, and the creatures he created for the fear of his reader's imagination seem to originate from this hate. In this regard, Lovecraft's fiction makes for fascinating reading, but to read Lovecraft one must take equal precaution as reading Mein Kampf.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike E. Perez

    After more than four years, I am finally done with this collection of short stories. While this book contains some essential reading for horror and sci-fi enthusiasts, I found Lovecraft's overly complex writing style difficult to get through at times. I ended up putting this book down several times before finally deciding I needed to just finish it. And I'm glad I did. Separately, each story is a pretty well-crafted tale, although to modern audiences, they may seem overdone. What we may consider After more than four years, I am finally done with this collection of short stories. While this book contains some essential reading for horror and sci-fi enthusiasts, I found Lovecraft's overly complex writing style difficult to get through at times. I ended up putting this book down several times before finally deciding I needed to just finish it. And I'm glad I did. Separately, each story is a pretty well-crafted tale, although to modern audiences, they may seem overdone. What we may consider common tropes originated with Lovecraft, and it's cool to consider how audiences of the 1920s and 1930s would have experienced them. The stories contained in this volume introduce the mythos of Lovecraft's famed Eldritch beings, most notably Cthulu. What I especially find interesting are the stories which show exploration of realms and civilizations long-dead. The Nameless City and At the Mountains of Madness being the most enthralling. Some of the stories, unfortunately, are very predictable. Again, that might be owing to the modern reader's experiences with other works influenced by Lovecraft. Still, a couple of the entries seem a little too long and overworked (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and The Whisperer in Darkness) for such little payoff. Pick this book up for a good intro to the Cthulu mythos. But do yourself a favor and breeze through the less captivating stories and take the time to immerse yourself in the vibrant settings of the more intriguing ones.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Akshit Kumar

    A useful gateway to some of the most seminal Cthulhu Mythos work. Almost every one of the eight stories in this collection is essential Lovecraft reading. The most important ones are, without a doubt, 'The Call of Cthulhu' (introduces the jelly-like octopus God we all know, who rises with the sunken city of R'lyeh after aeons of slumber in the deeps), 'The Whisperer in Darkness' (marks the first appearance of the Mi-Go or Abominable Snowmen from Yuggoth, possessed of the power to isolate human b A useful gateway to some of the most seminal Cthulhu Mythos work. Almost every one of the eight stories in this collection is essential Lovecraft reading. The most important ones are, without a doubt, 'The Call of Cthulhu' (introduces the jelly-like octopus God we all know, who rises with the sunken city of R'lyeh after aeons of slumber in the deeps), 'The Whisperer in Darkness' (marks the first appearance of the Mi-Go or Abominable Snowmen from Yuggoth, possessed of the power to isolate human brains from their bodies), 'At The Mountains of Madness' (goes back to the very origin of the Mythos with the Elder Ones and their malignant creations, the Shoggoths; also contains a subtle reference to Yog-Sothoth), 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' (both of these are odes to Yog-Sothoth, the latter being a tale of necromancy over 50000 words in length, Lovecraft's longest recorded work of fiction). Also included in the collection are Dagon, The Festival,The Nameless City, and The Hound, which, while not being the most important of the Mythos stories, are still central to the myth cycle, citing such references as Mnar, Ib, Irem- The City of Pillars, Sarnath, The Corpse Eating Cult of Leng in Central Asia, and the Deep Ones.

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